What do you get if you combine Twisted Metal, an 80s synthwave aesthetic, capitalist dystopia and the (over)confidence to put together a live service game? You get Drive Buy, an online player-vs-player (PVP) vehicular combat game centered around delivering packages to customers with reckless abandonment and getting that sweet, sweet paycheck.

Gameplay

Drive Buy is a four-player online PVP game with one map and three game modes – starting off strong here, fellas. These modes include Delivery Battle where you fight to see who can make the most deliveries, Payday where there are coins scattered around the map and whoever has the most money when the time runs out wins and Piggy Bank where you pick up a piggy bank at the centre of the map and keep it away from your opponents while slowly gaining money – first to 1000 wins.

Completing games will give you experience toward your account which will unlock some kind of cosmetic item when you level up like exhaust trails, paints or emotes. Drive Buy also has a daily mission system which can help you gain experience faster or give you currency to buy cosmetics from the in-game shop. At release, the max level is 60 so there is a chance it may increase at a later date. In my personal experience, after completing all of the daily missions in my first play session, I managed to get to level three, making the overall grinding experience feel like an absolute chore at higher levels. If unlocking collectable cosmetics is important to you, then the lack of content at launch is going to get old really quick and if you’re someone like me who doesn’t really care for collectable cosmetics, then you’ll only have about 20 minutes worth of gameplay here if you really stretch it out.

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World / Level Design

Drive Buy’s one map is pretty simple but competently designed, having a big open area in the middle where all the game’s chaos ends up gravitating towards and some side areas full of nooks and crannies to juke around your opponents attempting to attack you. There are also some hidden areas that connect one side of the map to the other just in case you’d rather avoid the chaos that is the centre of the map. I say hidden but they aren’t really, they’re just roads that don’t show up on the minimap but that being said, sometimes power-ups (which show up on the minimap) spawn in those hidden roads so making them hidden is kind of useless.

Story / Personality

Drive Buy has a very unsubtle dystopian capitalist motif. Every inch of the game is plastered with posters and advertisements that scream “BUY, SELL, CONSUME” at you while in the backstreets and various corners of the map, you’ll find anti-consumerist graffiti. Annoyingly, I can’t tell if the choice to add a live service gameplay model to the game is to keep with the theme of a capitalist dystopia or if it’s done genuinely and is just a tragically ironic development choice and I’m scared that if I point that out, I’m going to lose my indie gamer cred.

Graphics / Art Direction

Drive Buy has a very 80s synthwave aesthetic where everything is dimly coloured but lit by neon lights. It’s an aesthetic I love but in recent years, it’s been overused to death as a visual shorthand for “We’re cool and retro” which, mind you, is no fault of the game, just an observation. If anything, Drive Buy’s rendition of 80s Synthwave is more subdued, making it stand out a bit and feel more refreshing.

Music / Sound Design

I bet you can’t guess what kind of music this game uses for its soundtrack? Surprise, it’s 80s Synthwave! Drive Buy’s style of 80s Synthwave is more action-sounding and heavy on the drums which is quite different to most Synthwave. This more upbeat action style of sound mixes well with how ridiculous some matches can get.

Final Score: 43%

Reviewing games like this is hard – the developers seem confident in their live service model so there most likely will be content updates in the future which will invalidate some of this review but as it stands now, Drive Buy is an interesting idea for a game that’s held back by its severe lack of content and a monotonous exp grind which is the only thing keeping people playing.

Thank you for checking out our Drive Buy Switch review, thank you to Renaissance PR for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: